The cold blow of April deters us spending more time in the garden but the necessity spurs us on. A cold frame full of tender plants escapes the effects of late frosts. Cosmos in pots inside a trough with just muslin covering do not. We are excited to have tracked down and purchased (with all the trimmings) a small metal greenhouse (5’3″ x 6’5″) which will be with us around the end of May. The company we bought it from will send their contractor to erect it but we have to get the ground cleared and prepared. To that end, in the vegetable garden I’ve felled a conifer, transplanted ground covering euphorbia and geraniums, transplanted a former Xmas tree, re-positioned moss covered boundary stones and (most challenging of all) dug up half a dozen tree stumps. Sharp sand and stony gravel await in dumpy bags in the yard. I’ve also dug a drainage ditch between grass and beds and filled with stones to help drain what is otherwise a soggy edge to the garden. Our cheerful retired builder and his son will be shortly giving us a concrete pad on which the smart green greenhouse can be secured…Can’t wait!
Meanwhile, elsewhere round the garden I plant our main crop desiree seed potatoes in the raised bed after clearing the last of the old year’s salad vegetables….Out front I find a slumbering toad tucked up in grass and moss round the bole of the infant gean we planted on the roadside. There’s delight at the spread of fierce yellow globeflowers fringing the pond and sigh at the sad sight of one of our resident dunnocks floating drowned in the overflow of one of the water butts. However did it end up in there I wonder? The hedgehog Kim discovered (and re-covered) with leaves and moss on the bank border in the February warm spell has upped and left. Or has it? Searching for permeable liner in the railway carriage Kim once again uncovered a slumbering hog under an insulating cover of fleece. Is this the same creature seeking what it thought would be a berth where it would not be disturbed again? He/she sleeps on for now…We’re all wanting the year to properly turn and wake up our north country dormancy.